On 19th February we’ll be moving into the year of the Sheep as the Chinese celebrate their new year. A good excuse to celebrate without the hangover of Christmas, I’ve always loved the idea that we are given another chance to see in another new year. It’s almost as if in case January didn’t go so well, we have another chance to start all over again and set ourselves on the right course for the next 12 months. How wonderful.
Ahead of time, a friend and I visited Hakkasan to feast on their Chinese New Year menu and to experience their wishing tree, which did leave me with a glow in my heart as the food cast its culinary spell.
Stepping into the basement on Hanway Place with the incense aroma drifting up the staircase, I have always loved Hakkasan’s sumptuous interior.
Flashforward, we were late in for lunch and the last ones out which gave me a chance to snap this photo. Hakkasan is a place where you can easily lose yourself for hours.
As for celebrating the new year, the idea of the wishing tree is to write your wishes on this card which then hangs along with many others on one of the latticed woodwork cages that are the main features of the restaurant.
There is also a special new year’s cocktail which includes Germana cachaça, Campari, kumquats, orange juice and lime. Very refreshing and delicious too.
For our lunch, we decided on the set menu which started off with three plates of small eats.
Golden fried soft shell crab,
Spicy lamb lupin wrap,
And the Dim Sum platter (which I can’t seem to get enough of).
The mains included spicy prawn with lily bulb and almond,
Stir-fry black pepper rib eye beef with Merlot,
Stir-fry lily bulb and garlic shoot,
Grilled Chilean seabass in honey (which was easily the best sea bass I have ever tasted in my life),
And abalone and dry scallop fried rice.
All washed down with a delicious glass of Sancerre.
Dessert arrived …
With the Wishing Tree from which hung two chocolate, caramelised macadamia, cocoa rocks.What struck me about this menu was its unpredictability when tasting most of the dishes. Whether it was the beautiful texture of the sea bass or the spices in a couple of the dishes, it was great to try something that had a sense of newness about the meal. As for the classic feel of the dim sum starter, this dish is so good it would be a sin to leave it out.
So here is raising a glass to the year of the Sheep. The Sheep is associated with being gentle and calm, which I very much like the sound of!
*On Sunday 22nd February as part of the restaurant’s Chinese New Year celebration, lion troupes will make their way through the restaurant. The lion dance will symbolise luck, fortune, wisdom and joy for all the restaurant’s customers to enjoy.
This meal was complimentary for the purpose of the review. But hand on heart, my opinion has not been influenced. I enjoyed every morsel and sip during my afternoon; easily the highlight of my week so far.